I became aware of British Tactical through a Facebook page I am a member of which caters to kit pests like myself. I have been looking for a while for some pouches for the outside of a daysack I use as my go-bag when I’m working overseas. My Go-bag is the bag I carry everywhere with me when I am on a task. Its contents will vary a little depending on the task or environmental conditions but there will be some key components that never change. I like to keep the main compartment of my bag as free as possible for mission specific kit, hence why I was after some exterior pouches.
I use an ATS RAID pack as my base bag. I like the RAID pack because it is quite low profile. It has a zip which runs around 3 sides which makes it easier to get at kit than in a top opener as you don’t have to pull everything out and muddle it all up inside when you’re after a specific bit of kit. It also has a number of ports in the top so you can run stuff like antennas and hydration hoses. The best addition to the RAID pack is a rigid frame sheet. This is great because it stabilises the load and prevents any print –through to your back from any gear that is awkwardly shaped. Finally, it has a good amount of MOLLE on it so I can customise my load carriage.
I already had two Tactical Tailor long utility pouches on the sides of the daysack, but wanted some others to go on the front. I had experimented with some Blackhawk canteen pouches, but I found them too small and I didn’t like the mesh bottoms. I was browsing British Tactical’s website when I saw some pouches in coyote being offered up for clearance. Three vertical lidded pouches and one horizontal lidded pouch. They were perfect for what I wanted.
When I received them I was particularly impressed with the construction. Very robustly stitched with all seams neatly bound, even the inside ones. I also like the way the lids were finished off with the extra material stitched down rather than cut away leaving a point of weakness. The fabric they are made from is very robust with what appears to be a PU lining which will increase the life of the pouch. There is an option to have hook and loop closure or silent closure on the pouches and the tightening straps for the buckles is a generous length which makes them easy to use with gloves on. I am a big fan of the MOLLE attachment method. The attachment strips are more flexible that any others I’ve come across and are particularly easy to weave into place. This also makes it easier to swap out pouches should you want to re-configure your load. Finally, keeping with the theme of ease of use the hook and loop method of fixing the MOLLE in place is also great. My pouches are plain outside, but there is the option of having MOLLE on pretty much any external surface which significantly adds to their versatility. All British Tactical pouches are UK made so you can have a warm glow about supporting a UK small business and they have a lifetime defect warranty so you don’t have to worry should anything go wrong with them. However, looking at their construction I would be very surprised if you would ever need it.
In terms of the vertical lidded pouches they have great capacity without using up too much real-estate. They are only two columns wide but will happily swallow a Jetboil. I also like the small internal pocket inside the pouches so that you can separate smaller items. They are very nicely dimensioned and fit very neatly side by side.
Looking at the horizontal lidded pouch it is a beast in terms of capacity without being overly bulky. It is the same depth as the smaller pouches so sits over them very nicely on the back of the daysack. It has the same bomb-proof construction as the smaller pouches as well as the other added feature of two hook and loop panels inside to allow for load customisation or some form of internal divider.
To sum up, I am very happy with my purchase. They might not be as cheap as other options out there, but they are UK made, precision engineered bits of kit which will last and last. Remember buy cheap, buy twice!
About the Author:
Ben served for 15 years in the Infantry and RAMC. After the Army, he worked in an intelligence role as a contractor in Iraq and Afghanistan. After that he went into the city to work as a consultant for a Crisis Response Company dealing with kidnaps and evacuating people from all the shitty places in the world when it all goes wrong. He now has his own Resilience Consultancy. Ben is a keen outdoorsman, has also had his own martial arts school and is an Explorer Scout Leader, as well as being a total KitPest!